Cancer survival in Spain: estimate for nine major cancers

Cancer survival in Spain: estimate for nine major cancers



Background: This study provides estimates of population-based relative survival in Spain for nine major cancers and reports results on cancer survival by region, gender and age group.

Patients and methods: Our analysis covered eight Spanish regions, namely, Basque Country, Navarre, Girona, Tarragona, Castellón, Albacete, Murcia and Granada, and included patients with cancer of the colon, rectum, lung, breast, ovary, prostate, testis, melanoma of skin and Hodgkin's lymphoma. Cases diagnosed during the period 1995–99 were followed up until 31 December 2004. For individual records, the maximum likelihood approach was used to estimate 5-year relative survival (5y-RS), with crude and adjusted 5y-RS being calculated. A statistical test was applied to explain significant geographical variations.

Results: In the regions studied, the highest 5y-RS ratio was detected for lung cancer (adjusted 5y-RS of 12.4% in Navarre versus 6.1% in Granada) and the lowest for breast cancer (91.3% in Castellón versus 81.2% in Albacete). 5y-RS for the respective cancer types was as follows: colon and rectal, 54.7% and 50.2%, respectively; ovarian, 43% overall, though much lower in the oldest age groups; prostate, 76%, rising to close to 80% in the 45–74 age group, with rates ranging from highest in Girona to lowest in Albacete; testicular, 95%, the type with the best prognosis; and Hodgkin's lymphoma, 85%, rising to 92% among young adults. In the case of melanoma of skin, the sex-related difference in 5y-RS was >10% for women.

Conclusions: Although regional differences were identified for most tumours, these were more marked in lung cancer. Women showed better prognosis. Breast and prostate cancer registered lower survival among young than among middle-aged adults. The worst prognosis was for lung cancer and the best for cutaneous melanoma, with breast, prostate and Hodgkin's lymphoma displaying favourable and colon, rectum and ovary unfavourable prognoses. Identifying regional, gender- and age-related differences affords valuable knowledge for improving cancer care.

Media title: 
Annals of Oncology